For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
In Israel’s history, God revealed Himself to a people group, the Hebrews, and sent messages through Moses. His Word was not personalized to each of them, except for the patriarchs and few other exceptions, yet He showed His love for them by delivering them from the oppressor, then leading them out on a journey to the promised land. Along the way, He brought them the Law, which was a protocol for holiness. It wasn’t given to make them feel better about themselves, or to even make them feel closer to God, but to cause them to see how far short they fell from God’s perfection.
Protocols, even from a God who delivers you, doesn’t feel very loving. Nor do protocols feel very personal. Feeling close to God was to experience His care through collective acts of protection from enemies and guidance for their journey via the cloud and the pillar of fire.
All of that changed when God sent His Son, not to condemn through the likes of the law but to fulfill it. Jesus came to bring unfailing love and faithfulness. Love messages would not be written on tablets of stone but on the hearts of men and women, one at a time. Jesus was to be experienced personally. A relationship would begin that could be nurtured and deepened. And once the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, that relationship become even more intimate than what was possible between two human beings. There was a palpable internal dwelling of the Spirit of God.
So why would I ever prefer a protocol to a personal experience? A culture of conduct instead of a friendship with God? The first forms a religion, the second forms a relationship.
Jesus, you did so much more than bring the forgiveness of sins. You brought love and faithfulness. You drew me with cords of love. Amen